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Newspaper Page Text
construction. So he refused the per
At yesterday's meeting of the
council, a quiet little order sneaked
in. It provided that the Chicago
Evangelist assn be given the right
to build a frame building on a certain
piece of ground. The legal descnp
tion of the property was given.
Not a word was said about Billy
Sunday or the old Cub Park. Not a
break was made which would tip the
aldermen off that it was a big taber
nacle the church folks were trying
to put up against all fire laws, passed
shortly after the Iroquois catas
trophe taugh Chicago her bitter les
sen written by hundreds of charred
bodies, mostly of little children.
Somewhere in the council an alder
man smelled a rat. None seem to
know who he was. But a member
of the council demanded that the
matter go to the building committee
If he hadn't been wise to the stunt
someone was trying to pull, the city
council would have been placed oh
record as instructing its building
commissioner to allow a certain
bunch of church members to 'put
over the worst violation of the fire
prevention laws seen in years.
After the council meeting was
over and a quiet investigation was
made by insiders, it was found that
the mysterious order had come in
through the city clerk's office. This
means that it did not have the ap
proval of the ward alderman.
Building Commissioner Bostrom
today admitted that the Billy Sun
day crowd had asked for the permit
and said that he turned .them down.
"The moment they showed their
plans, I told them the building was
hopelessly against the fire laws and
that I couldn't give them a permit
to construct . it," declared Bostrom
today. "There are a number of fire
zones in which frame buildings can
not be constructed, according to law.
"If the structure is a small one,
1 unimportant, like a barn, the
matter Is introduced into the coun
cil, and if the council so orders I is
sue the permit asked. The council
order is my protection.
"But on a big tabernacle to hold
16,000 people, I don't know whether
I would give them a permit even if
the council did so instruct me, be-gtt
couse this is a serious business, plac
ing thousands of people in a wooden
"There is no question but that the
building might be called a firetrap.
Anyway, it is not allowed under the
fire laws of the city. When the mat- -ter
comes up before the , council
building committee for investigation
I shall tell the aldermen that the
building is unsafe and contrary to
the law they have set down."
The Sunday committee has expe
rienced the same trouble with then
wooden tabernacle in New York and
Boston, where the authorities, in
spite of the backing the church peo
ple had with the commercial inter- .
ests, made them erect a steel build
ing. With the price of steel as high
as it is, the cost of such a taberna
cle will put a considerable crimp in
the fund now being collected to
bring the evangelist to Chicago.
Opponents of the Sunday style of
soul-saving say that his coming is a
signal that, public utility interests
have something big they want to put
over on the people. The claim of
labor is that when the people get ex
cited about Sunday something raw is
always slipped over under cover of
the religious fervor.
LATE BITS OF NEWS
Ernest Kohles, 35, owner of. -pool
room and cigar store at 602 N. Clark,
found unconscious in rear of store.
Taken to hospital. Police believe it
a two-man job.
Wm. Taylor, negro burglar, con
fessed today at Woodlaw nstatidn he
did Bpvee shooting, Jackson park.
Aug. 4, 1916.1